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MG MGB Technical - Parking Brake Cable

Still awaiting a part to finish the rebuilt and start the engine, so I started working on other minor issues with y 67 BGT. I noted the parking brake is just about at it's upper limit and in checking; the adjuster is all the way screwed in. I am assuming the cable stretches over the years. Any fixes other than replacing the cable?

In looking up this part, I noted that there are a number of different cables depending on the year, model, rear axle and wire vs steel wheels. Moss lists it by car number so I should be ok.

I don't think I have seen this much difference in parts for the B before.
Bruce Cunha

Found a number of articles on this in the Archives. Apparently there was some issues with the length of cables in around 10 years ago. Anyone know if this issue was corrected?

One solution was to have the current cable shortened. Any disadvantages to doing this? Cable is in good condition and no rust/corrosion, but is 48 years old.

Another solution was a device that shortened the cable. Anyone know if these are still available?
Bruce Cunha

Bruce I had this problem last year. The old cable seized and could not be freed. The new cable had the right part number for a wire wheel 68B but had to be adjusted fully to work. All the ringing around and the supplier giving measurements did not help. Ended up using it like that but any future adjustment will need a cable shortener. I have a feeling, at least my supplier, only has one cable for the wider disc and the narrower WW rear end. Denis

There used to be a device for shortening brake cables. It's basically a yoke and screw which put a "bend or kink" in the cable thus shortening it slightly. But if the cable has stretched a lot it may fail, so better to replace I think.
Allan Reeling

I bought a new cable for my 72 Roadster (disk wheela) last year & it is also too long. It just about works if adjusted fully up.
G Britnell

Bruce, a few years ago I fitted a new cable to my '79 GT but it was too long, similar to as G Britnell has described. I got it to work properly by drilling a new mounting hole on the transmission tunnel side for the cable fixing stud, about 1.25 inches behind the original one (ie further towards the rear of the car). This left me with the full range of adjustment available. See photo, taken from inside car. The original hole has a rubber blank fitted.

Brian Shaw

I have a horrible feeling that no-one has the specs for any parts and that used parts are sent to China to be copied.
Dave O'Neill 2

Mine reached the limit of its adjustment so I put a slotted clamp plate on the end of the short cable between its nipple and the compensation lever on the diff to take about an inch out. Preferable to kinking the cable or moving the mounting hole, I felt, and a correct length replacement cable will fit without further ado.

There have been reports of new cables being incorrectly labelled, and stud-wheel axle cables being supplied for centre-lock wheel axles, which need a shorter cable.
Paul Hunt

I made a 1/1/2" extension slotted it so the inner cable goes through and put it at the handbrake end of the cable, works fine and I have adjustment left.

GJ Barker

When the parking cable was stretched to its limit on my Samurai, I picked up one of the cable length reducers from my local NAPA auto parts store for under $5. It's not high tech, but it did the trick quickly and inexpensively. RAY
rjm RAY

Looks like the cable issue has not been fixed by the manufacturers. Got it installed and with it fully screwed in, the parking brake still goes all the way up and the cables are not tight.

Paul and GJ. Any potential for a picture or drawing of the extender you built?

Using Brian's idea may be a way to go. I can use the original cable with that fix or by adding an extender like Paul and GJ did.
Bruce TD4139 Cunha

Sorry I havent got a picture of the extention but all it is is about 1/2" diameter brass with a hole drilled though it just larger than the inner cable, then a saw cut along it's length again just wide enough to get it on to the cable.
The brass extention then sits against the fixed stop near the handbrake lever

Hope this helps

GJ Barker

As is my wont I found a mounting bracket from a motor scooter mirror in my boxes of bits, which was just right to fit round the cable. In my case it is at the compensator lever end at the axle, where the short cable from the right-hand wheel ends, as in the attached.

Paul Hunt

I ended up going with Brian's fix. It was the easiest way to get more adjustment.

As for cables. I called Moss and talked to their technical person relating to the new cable being too long..

If you look at the cable chart that Moss has on their web You will see there is a surprising 12 different parking brake cables for MGB's.

I wonder why there is a difference between the MK I GT with tube axle and wire wheels and the MKII GT with the same. Are the parking brake levers in the same place for the MK II and the MK I?

Moss's tech support did not have the answer on why the 67 GT wire wheel cable was not working on my 67. Only item I can think of is that my GT was made at the end of the MKI run and has a few parts that are MK II. (reverse lights, day/night rearview mirror). Could be that they used the cable from the 68.
Bruce TD4139 Cunha

"Could be that they used the cable from the 68."

That wouldn't explain why a new 67 cable didn't fit your 67. If there is a difference in the lever positioning it's more likely that your car has the later position, which would always make the nominally 'correct' cable the wrong length. It's possible the lever moved back to accommodate the wider tunnel for the auto. Should be easy enough to check for those with the right-hand seat out. But the really obvious difference in the tunnels should be whether it has the hump for the 3-synch gearbox, or the flat topped tunnel for the 4-synch.

That list and the Parts Catalogue only show 10 cables for the MGB, the other two are for the MGA twin can and the MGC. The MGC is the same length as the Mk2 MGB despite having a different number.
Paul Hunt

There is an error in that Moss table for earlier rubber bumper cars. It lists one for MGB disc wheels, and one for MGB GT disc wheels, but not one for wire wheels. In fact the one for MGB GT disc wheels is for both roadster and GT wire wheels.

Paul Hunt

This thread was discussed between 10/03/2015 and 18/04/2015

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